Frank Lowe, best known as “Gay-At-Home Dad,” has a weekly column on Gays With Kids entitled “Let’s Be Frank: The Diary of a Divorced Gay Dad.” He writes openly and candidly about everything from co-parenting with his ex, dating in today’s society, and navigating his unexpected path of single fatherhood. We thought it would be fun to interview him for this week’s #SingleGayDadSunday. He wants us to reiterate that he is 100 percent single and lives near the New York area.
Gays With Kids: When did you get together with your ex? When did you guys get married?
Frank: We met in 1997 in my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. I was a 21-year tanning salon manager and he was a 23-year old law student. I would say it was love at first sight, as I moved in with him within a month. We moved to Chicago in 1999 and then Connecticut in 2008. We were married in November of 2008, which was two weeks after it became legal in our state.
Gays With Kids: How or why did you choose adoption as your path to fatherhood?
Frank: It was actually by default. We weighed all of our options, and though the thought of having biological children via surrogacy was appealing, it was also outrageously expensive. We also realized that there is a need in the adoption world and it just became the right choice for us. We chose to go with an open adoption because we wanted our child to be able to have as much contact with the birthparent(s) as he or she desires.
Gays With Kids: When did you guys become fathers?
Frank: Our adoption story is a fairytale, pun intended. We got on the actual adoption list in April of 2009. Six weeks later, we got “the call” from our agency that our birthmother had selected us and only us. Then they told us that she was due in nine days. We panicked, but figured everything out. On June 18, 2009, we watched our son come into this world and he’s been ours ever since.
Gays With Kids: When did you split up?
Frank: As most divorced people would tell you, there isn’t a set date that it happened. We tried everything we could do to save our relationship – for the sake of our son, for the sake of ourselves, for the sake of our family. Unfortunately it didn’t work. We officially separated in November of 2014, and divorced on June 1, 2015.
Gays With Kids: As avid readers of your column, we’re impressed with the mature and amicable way in which you and your ex prioritize what’s best for your son. How do you accomplish this and can you offer advice to others who may be going through a break-up now?
Frank: First of all, thank you! Second, it’s really been very natural for us – putting our son first. When we divorced we did it without lawyers or going to court. We sat down and had multiple conversations with an arbitrator about what is best for him. There was never any question; his wellbeing was always paramount to us.
For those currently going through a break-up: Stay strong foremost, don’t beat yourself up, and allow yourself to feel. Like anything else in life, it’s a temporary period where everything seems discombobulated. That’s OK. Do what you have to do to move on, and eventually you’ll get to the point where you are happy to be single!
Gays With Kids: Who gets Briggs for Father’s Day? What are your plans for the day?
Frank: We have a holiday schedule that we created, and basically we take turns. Last year, I did not have my son and it was very difficult. I ended up booking a trip to Florida just to distract myself from the reality of that weekend. This year, I have him! It’s actually the day after his birthday, so it’s going to be a fun weekend. I don’t have any set plans, but I do expect for him to clean my entire house for me and probably make me meals all day long. We’ll see.
Gays With Kids: What was it like to re-enter the workforce and how did you do it?
Frank: After years of being a true stay-at-home dad, I suddenly was faced with the reality that yes, I have to earn income again. I’ve done it gradually. I’m being very honest and true with myself as far as doing what I actually like to do. Rather than jumping into the deep end of the job pool, I’m wading in very slowly. I have several projects happening right now and feel very positive about the future. And I also just made myself a walking, talking brand, which is pretty cool.
Gays With Kids: If you didn’t have so much invested in “Gay-At-Home Dad,” what would you change your moniker to now?
Frank: I’ve thought about this. I had some ideas – I thought it’d be funny at first to be “Gay-At-Home Wrecker” or “Gay Single Dad,” but truly nothing else has the ring that “Gay-At-Home Dad” does. Technically speaking, I work from home now, so it still fits! It stays.
Gays With Kids: Finally, do you have any exciting projects you can share with us?
Frank: I do! Lots! I can’t be specific, but I just shot a pilot for a new TV show. I wish I could say more! The cast is amazing, the production company is the best, and the channel is extremely interested. I have every part of my body crossed that it will go to episodes, as it would be a game-changer. Additionally, I just partnered up with a major luxury handbag company to create a small collection of “the perfect diaper bags.” They will be genderless, and have some special features that make them unique – it’s actually very exciting. Finally, I’m working on a novel – a fiction fantasy novel of all things. I’ve had a story in my head for years and I’m getting it all out now, and it feels great. I have a literary publicist on standby so I feel like the stars are finally lining up!